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REPORT OF THE 11th JOINT ROUNDTABLE DISCUSSION OF ASEAN CHARTERED PROFESSIONAL ENGINEER COORDINATING COMMITTEE (ACPECC) AND ASEAN ARCHITECT COUNCIL (AAC)

The 11th Joint Roundtable Discussion of ASEAN Chartered Professional Engineer Coordinating Committee (ACPECC) and ASEAN Architect Council (AAC) on “Green Energy: The Sustainability for the Future” was held on 17 January 2018 in Bangkok, Thailand.  The Roundtable was held back-to-back with the 36th ACPECC Meeting and the 32nd AAC Meeting which would be held on 18 January 2018.

The Roundtable Discussion was co-chaired by Er. Ho Siong Hin, President of the Professional Engineers Board of Singapore and Chairman of ACPECC, and Dr. Krai Tungsanga, Chairof ACPECC Thailand Monitoring Committee.

Er. Ho Siong Hin,the Chairman ofACPECC,opened the roundtable highlighting it as an important platform to explore opportunities to collaborate among ASEAN Engineering and Architectural Professionals in ASEAN and offer expertise, and the progress made under the MRA on Engineering Services with more than 2,717 ASEAN Chartered Professional Engineers (ACPE) and 10 Registered Foreign Professional Engineers (RFPE). This window of opportunities come in a time when Southeast Asia is envisaged to require more infrastructure investment of USD 3 trillion from now until 2030 by some estimations. Engr. Ho Siong Hin also provided an overview of construction demand and opportunities in Singapore, and that a significant part of the anticipated demand would come from public sector. The Chairman of ACPECC went on to thank the presenters and speakers from AMS, as well as the participants, and looked forward to a fruitful discussion at the roundtable on “Green Energy: The Sustainability For The Future”.

Dr. Krai Tungsanga, Chairof ACPECC Thailand Monitoring Committee, welcomed all delegates from ACPECC and AAC to the Roundtable, and reiterated the roundtable is an effective engagement to strengthen cooperation among ASEAN Engineering and Architectural Professionals. ASEAN’s sizeable market size, 3rd largest in the world, and this is an opportunity for more cooperation among ASEAN Engineering and Architectural Professionals.

Dr. Prasert Sinsukprasert,Inspector General, Ministry of Energy, Thailand, presented on “Thailand’s Energy 4.0”. He provided an overview of Thailand’s energy consumption and energy mix. Natural gas represented between 70 and 75 percent of the power generated in Thailand for the past 20 to 30 years, and renewable energy accounted for approximately 15 percent. Meanwhile, Thailand is a leader in solar power in ASEAN with a total installed capacity of approximately 3,000 MW. Despite its leading position in renewable energy, Thailand continued to face challenges in managing supply and demand of energy, such as intermittency of renewable energy requires a system that could provide accurate forecast, the impact on water-level, and reliance on fossil fuels to address the issue of the said uncertainties. Dr. Prasert Sinsukprasert highlighted the initiatives to promote renewable energy, such as putting the necessary infrastructure in place (e.g. charging stations for electrical vehicles), tax incentives, manufacturers and research, fit-in tariff and cash-back programme. Perception of renewable energy has been positive. Job creation potential in renewable energy sector to promote economic growth in rural areas has given rise to positive public opinion.

 In response, Brunei Darussalam suggested to share such challenges and how they overcome those challenges with other AMS especially with the business community acceptance.

Malaysia propose that the definition of “smart grid” and “smart city” be commonly accepted at the ASEAN level. In addition Malaysia also propose that all hydro-power-plant be classified as “renewable energy” regardless of size as long as it creates zero-carbon emission. 

Mrs. Sriwan Buranachokepisal, Director, Renewable and New Energy Research and Business Development Division, Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT), presented on “Renewable Energy: The Challenge of Sustainable Development”, and provided an overview on Thailand’s electricity supply industry structure, the 2015 targets and integrating renewable energy and Thailand Integrated Energy Blueprint (TIEB) 2015-2036. The TIEB 2015-2036 consists of five plans: (i) Power Development Plan (PDP), (ii) energy Efficiency Plan (EEP), (iii) Alternative Energy Development Plan (AEDP), (iv) Gas Plan (GAS), and (v) Oil Plan (OIL). Mrs. Sriwan Buranachokepisal also highlighted the new challenges in renewable electricity industry, such as disruptive technology, fluctuation in base-load, low plant factor, reverse power flow, voltage and frequency control and harmonic distortion. Thailand is constructing the Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) to address the challenges of renewable energy through renewable firming, frequency regulation, energy shifting and congestion management. The next step for renewable energy sustainable development is to pursue a solar sharing model for ecosystem. For sustainable development, an energy management system is important to ensure energy security and reasonable energy price.

Assistant Prof. Dr. Atch Sreshthaputra, Vice President, Thai Green Building Institute (TGBI), presented on “Green Building Movements in Thailand”. In the face of environmental challenges posed by climate change, more green spaces are needed. Currently, the green area per person in Bangkok is approximately 3m2. Construction of buildings are increasingly greener, and in addition to appearance, the services and quality of services provided in the building are increasingly important. Some multi-national corporations (MNC) are developing guidelines to locate their offices in green-certified buildings. Bangkok New City Planning Code was introduced to target 50 percent of open space to be green.

Ir. Rocky H.T. Wong, Member of Board of Engineers Malaysia (BEM), presented on “Cross Border Trade in Services (CBTS) relating to Engineering & Construction Services, and International Engineering Alliance (IEA) Accords/Agreements” focussing on standards of engineering services. In view of the developments and to advance, it is important to go further to consider and explore the possibility of adopting International Engineering Alliance (IEA) standards for engineering services in particular the standards for natural person engineering services professionals such as Washington Accord for Engineer, Sydney Accord for Engineering Technologist and Dublin Accord for Engineering Technician under the ASEAN Mutual Recognition Arrangement (MRA) on Engineering Services. Interested AMS may approach Network Accreditation Bodies for Engineering Education in Asia (NABEEA) to prepare for the IEA constituency standards. Currently Malaysia holds the chair of NABEEA for the next two years

Immediately after the Joint Roundtable on 17 January 2018, the participants made site visits to two underground stations: (i) MRT Wat Mangkorn Station, and (ii) MRT Sanam Chai Station. AMS noted that the project used local expertise and also domestically funded. The project total value was USD 1.6 billion involving five packages.

The site visits were followed by a dinner reception for the ACPECC members and surveyors at Lhong 1919 located in the historical site in Klongsan District. The dinner reception was hosted by Thailand Council of Engineers.